The San Francisco 49ers-Arizona Cardinals game last Sunday was marred by several officiating mistakes and a few bizarre sequences -- enough to get that crew pulled from this week's primetime game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.
But apparently the league has confirmed at least one of the controversial calls: a roughing the passer penalty called on 49ers defensive end Quinton Dial in the fourth quarter. The NFL has fined Dial $17,363 for the hit he made on Carson Palmer when he sacked the quarterback with 7:05 left in the game. Dial will appeal the fine, per Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
It was a pivotal -- and questionable -- call in a game that was tied when Dial made the hit. The penalty negated the sack, and instead of facing a third-and-18 at their own 24-yard line, the Cardinals had a new set of downs at the 47. The Cardinals would go on to score the game-winning touchdown on that drive and then hold on for the 19-13 win.
The video seems to show a clean hit to the chest of Palmer by Dial. However, Palmer's helmet was knocked upward with so much force that his chin strap ended up over his face, indicating the possibility of some illegal contact.
Dial also believed the hit was legal and thought Palmer might have "ducked" into the blow, causing his helmet to come loose. Palmer, of course, disagreed and told reporters that Dial hit him in the face "with the crown of his helmet."
Regardless of who is right or wrong, Dial ends up getting fined for a contentious hit in a game that the NFL has already admitted was officiated poorly.